BACKGROUND: Cyberian Outpost, Inc. is a leading global Internet retailer of computer hardware, software and accessories as well as consumer electronics by Tweeter and gifts by Brookstone. It was founded in 1995 to serve the small-office and home-office market. Outpost.com has quickly emerged as one of the most widely recognized and frequently shopped Internet commerce sites based on revenue growth, repeat customer purchases and its expanding affiliate network. We are committed to delivering an enjoyable shopping experience of unprecedented speed and convenience while maintaining the best customer service in the industry.
PLATFORMS: The Sagent Data Load and Access Servers are running on a Windows NT-based application server accessing Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database. Design Studio and Information Studio clients run on Windows NT 4.0. WebLink runs with Microsoft's Internet Information Server under Windows NT 4.0.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The value that Sagent brings is the speed with which we can get data to our users for them to do either reporting or analysis. Sagent makes it possible for us to create actionable customer intelligence. By building data marts to understand our customer behavior and preferences, we create very specific cross-selling and up- selling opportunities. Sagent helps us manage observation and clickstream data (3 million transactions a day) as well as phone orders, inventories and shipments (60,000 transactions a day).
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The imple- mentation of Sagent was very important to the success of our data management and business intelligence. We use Sagent Automation with Sagent Data Load and Access Servers and Sagent WebLink for delivery. Sagent Automation also lets us more tightly integrate all of the pieces of our marketing automation solutions to close the loop between all of the different products we need for e- business. All of our reporting is a direct result of Sagent. Users in purchasing, marketing and customer service use Sagent WebLink to do their reporting and analysis. They are familiar with working on the Web, so to them WebLink is just another feature of the Web.
STRENGTHS: The speed of implementation allowed us to get the Sagent Solution up and running very quickly. We were also impressed by Sagent's excellent consulting services. Sagent was able to provide us with a complete end-to-end solution that moves us all the way through the cycle without requiring Outpost to have experts in different areas.
WEAKNESSES: We push Sagent in many different directions and at times have found ourselves slightly ahead of the technology curve, with the accompanying concerns about stability of new software. There is a lot of new development going on, and we occasionally have to tolerate the growing pains. All in all, we are happy with Sagent.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The number of technologies that Outpost has to implement to exist in the e-business world is amazing, and it is all about how fast you can get those things up and running. Sagent is a great success story at Outpost because we knew we needed to go in this direction. Starting in spring of 1999, we evaluated several technologies and chose Sagent because it had everything we needed from data movement to data access to Web delivery and they could get us up and running quickly.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Sagent's consulting and training were excellent. They not only gave us the training we needed, but they followed up for weeks to make sure that the issues that came up during training were resolved to our satisfaction.
DOCUMENTATION: All of Sagent's documentation is thorough and well written.
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